I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is a short (PDF at 65 pages) read that opens with a prolog: Jasyra being confronted by the Demon King, who breaks all protocol by breaking the Dragon Fyre Sword and scattering it in many pieces across the world. Jasyra’s life is spared, and her quest begins. While the prologue was action-packed, I wanted to know a little bit more about the world and characters. Much of what I pictured in my head relied on stereotypes from other fantasy works. Though I did appreciate the imagery the author provided, I wanted to know a bit more about what made the characters unique. (I did especially enjoy the idea of razor-sharp feathers and colored dragon fyre.)
The story then moves to the modern world, where our hero, Jack, is bored spending the rainy summer with a relative. Investigating the attic, Jack finds himself drawn into a strange world in which a familiar green man and bossy girl (not to mention a giant wolf) take him into a world of fantasy—the same world we entered in the prologue. While I enjoyed the story, I was never completely pulled in, and I think that’s because of the short length of the piece: it wasn’t long enough to become a full-fledged fantasy—so I guess what I’m asking for is more J
I found a lot of frame construction slowed the narrative: “Jack looked at the green man, who smiled” or “Jack saw her eyes flash” slowed the narrative (Why not just “The green man smiled” or “Her eyes flashed.” If we’re in Jack’s POV, we know he’s seeing these things because he’s looking.) That, plus the almost non-stop action without much character development, is what prevented me from rating this book higher.
Still, I enjoyed the concept behind the story. Jack learns that he must help Jasyra retrieve each of the pieces of the sword, and each seems to be guarded by some type of beast. In this book, it is a werewolf, and Jack’s luck, developing skill, and knowledge from watching cheesy black-and-white werewolf films helps him help his new companions.
The book almost reads like a video game adventure, and I could see it capturing the interest of young gamers, hopefully bridging the gap between RPG adventures and reading.